10.07.11

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Did Microsoft Pay the Philippines to Drop GNU/Linux and Free Software?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenOffice at 12:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sinagoga

Summary: Dubious claims of OpenOffice.org and Linux being “33 percent more than the cost for Office 2010 with Windows 7.”

LAST MONTH we witnessed EDGI in the Philippines, which we also saw bullied around by the US government at the behest of Microsoft (see Cablegate) after it had decided to go with Free/open source software nationally. Truthfully, this goes a long way back. For a country to choose FOSS is quite brave because US multinationals treat it like those countries have just adopted communism and declared war on capitalism (or “IP”). Mr. Pogson looks at GNU/Linux in the Philippines and says:

HB1011, Free Open Source (FOSS) Act of 2010 is in committee stage. It’s stated purpose is that “The government shall apply only FOSS or Foss solutions in all ICT projects except under exceptional cirumstances”. There is strong opposition, for example, from the Minister of Education who claims FLOSS costs more… Of course using “7″ and databases costs less than using paper but they did not give GNU/Linux a fair shake in trials. M$ now uses the Minister of Education as a poster-child for non-free software: “We received feedback from the school IT administrators that the computers running OpenOffice.org had more technical issues, to the point that some computers were unusable….For us, the cost to deploy and support computers with OpenOffice.org and Linux is about 33 percent more than the cost for Office 2010 with Windows 7.” That sounds like EDGI got in there and paid people to use M$’s stuff. I don’t see any other way that FLOSS could be more expensive.

This is one that needs watching. Microsoft obviously plays dirty here, as usual, maybe via some front groups like the BSA (as it did years ago).

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